Navigating Your Life in a Post-Pandemic World
I have no idea if you’re a Millennial, Gen-Z, or a Boomer, but I fall somewhere in what is known as the “Xennial” generation – the tail end of Gen X and the very beginning of the Millennial years. I didn’t grow up with a computer or a phone, and I was well into adulthood when I was able to use Google Maps to get around. Before then, I had to write directions down on a piece of paper – and then later was excited to print out the directions from MapQuest. I would study my odometer to figure out if I had to turn left after 0.8 miles – and to figure out how long 0.8 miles was! Now things are so much quicker with the ability to navigate on my phone, I don’t have to worry about how exactly to get around in my car.
What I do still need to do though, is navigate through my life. There’s no app for that yet (although I wouldn’t really want one if there was!) And it can seem just as difficult to know how to get through one day to the next, especially with the backdrop of the pandemic still affecting us. Here are a few tips and tricks that I’ve found helpful, and that may help you, too!
- Know Where You’re Going. Like any trip you take, you’ll feel successful once you know where it is that you’re going. You may think, “But I am so anxious/depressed/sad/unstable to know where my life is going!” Fair enough – I think the same thing all the time! But I’m talking about a small trip. If you feel you can’t make it through the day, can your destination be to make it three hours from now? Can you make it to the next ten minutes? Find a destination that is as small as you need it to be. If you can get there, take a deep breath, and realize that you made it.
- Pack Your Snacks. No road trip is complete without snacks, and that goes for the days when you’re not physically going anywhere, either. Make sure to eat throughout the day and to drink water, too. No shame intended and I know it’s hard sometimes, but try to make your food as healthy as you can make it for the moment – physical discomfort is not a lot of fun when paired with mental and emotional discomfort.
- Keep Good Company. Car trips do go by faster with a friend traveling with you, and that’s true for life, as well. But if you’re unable to see people regularly, what can you fill the journey with? If you’re into listening to podcasts, audiobooks and music, check your local library for new ones to try. Ask friends for some recommendations for new books to read or what show to stream. Keep in touch with more phone calls and Facetimes with family members you haven’t seen in a long time! But remember that there’s a time for much-needed silence, too. If you’re feeling frazzled and overwhelmed by too much screen time, try to carve out some room (seriously, just two or three minutes to start) to sit in silence and enjoy the quiet.
- Look around you. On car trips, we can be so focused on the road ahead of us and our directions that we might forget to look around at the landscape a bit. What’s in front of you today that you haven’t noticed? Are there new flowers in your neighborhood now that Spring is here? Have you noticed the days growing longer and the sun taking more time to set? Try to take a look around a few more times during your day – a little thing can help a lot!
These are just a few ideas to help with navigating these next few weeks. I hope they are a help for you, and please feel free to reach out to etalktherapy.com for professionals to talk to!
Until next time, be well!
About the author: Christy Gualtieri is a freelance writer specializing in pop culture, religion, and motherhood. She lives in Pittsburgh with her husband and two children. Christy also blogs at asinglehour.wordpress.com and tweets @agapeflower117. You can follow her here on eTalkTherapy for inspirational articles and different perspectives as they relate to good mental health.